Kato, I haven't seen you for a while. What happened to you?
I'm in Japan.
Diane, do you remeber that I was in Japan last October?
Yes, I do... So, Kato, are you saying that you're like a migrating bird? Every October you fly back to Japan?
Yes, I do... I migrate into Japan every October from Vancouver.
Why is that?
My migrating instinct.
You must be kidding.
Actually, I visit my mother who is in hospital.
Are you saying that she is terminally ill?
Oh no, not that critical. But she's been sick on and off for last decade.
I see... so, Kato, you visit Japan to make an enjoyable and memorable reunion with your mother, don't you?
You're telling me, Diane.
How do you like Japan at the moment?
I like it here in Japan very much. Here, the city of Gyoda is my birthplace.
Wow! ... seems like an interesting place.
You bet on that, Diane. My hometown is a very interesting place to live in.
Gyōda is a city in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. As of April 1, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 87,089, with 33,570 households and a population density of 1,292.70 persons per km². The total area is 67.37 km². The city was founded on May 3, 1949. On January 1, 2006 the village of Minamikawara, from Kitasaitama District, was merged into Gyōda.
Gyōda Station (JR East Takasaki Line) Gyōdashi Station (Chichibu Railway)
Sakitama Kofun Park
Sakitama Kofun Park is a 300,000-square-meter historic park dotted with large ancient tombs, including a tomb of ancient potentates on Mt. Maruhaka-yama, one of the largest round burial mounds in Japan.
At Mt. Shogun-yama, a 91-meter-long burial mound that is square at the head and rounded at the foot, there is a display room of its interior where the stone cave hut and excavated articles have been restored to their original conditions in the 5th to 7th centuries. Every spring, residents celebrate a fire festival, which symbolizes the myth that the ancient goddess of Japan gave birth in fire.
Gyoda City is proud of its ancient lotuses that grow in the Kobari Marsh. The seeds of ancient lotuses here, estimated to date back 1,400 to 3,000 years, were found by chance during excavation for the building of a waste disposal facility. After a few thousand years of dormancy, they awoke and germinated. The large pink blossoms bloom only in the morning for about a month from mid-July after the close of the rainy season.
Ancient Lotus Park
Oshi Castle (Oshi-jo) was built by the daimyo Narita Akiyasu near the end of the 15th century. It was considered impregnable, and was built using the natural levee of the surrounding marshlands and river.
When it was attacked by the army of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (who ruled Japan in the latter half of the 16th century) it was besieged by over 20,000 soldiers. The castle did not fall even when it was flooded by water drawn in from the nearby river. After that it was rumored that the castle had been able to withstand the flood because it floats on water. The largest turret in Oshi Castle is Gosankai Yagura, although it was demolished in the latter half of the 19th century when political power changed from the Edo shogunate to the Meiji government, due to its condemnation as a symbol of the samurai. The existing turret was reconstructed in 1988.
Gyōda is renowned for its Jeri Furai or fried jelly. This is a local speciality consisting of fried bean curd, carrots, onion, and potato.
There are many shops which sell it around town, especially during the warmer seasons.
Gyōda is also quite well known for the making of traditional tabi socks, worn with kimono. Gyoda still makes half of the tabi made in Japan.
SOURCE:Gyōda, Saitama From Wikipedia PICTURES from the Denman Library
I wish I were with you in Gyoda.
Yes,... yes..., someday ... someday...
You always say that ...
He, he, he, he, he , ...
By the way, Kato, how come you place a swimwear-clad girl in front of Mount Fuji at the top?
Good quastion! It's quite hot here--- 25 degree Celcius. I'm experiencing a second summer here.
Look at the following weather chart!
Wow! So you're recalling the summer of Vancouver.
You're telling me, Diane.
It's getting cold in Vancouver, you know.
I know ... I know ...
How do you know?
I checked the Vancouver weather. Look at the following chart!
I really wish I were in Gyoda with you, Kato.
No big difference between in Gyoda and in Vancouver.
How do you mean?
Well ... you feel quite hot, don't you?
No, I don't. Kato, we're running into winter here.
But, Diane, you must be feeling hot?
Why is that?
... 'cause you're enjoying VIFF.
You're sexually hot.
An open mind is advised!
Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, ... Oh, Kato ..., you like a black humor, don't you?
Oh, no... I like a hot humor.
Wow! The VIFF viewers are getting sexually hot.
By the way, did you happen to see the following clip about the Tōhoku Earthquake 2011?
Whenever I see the above clip, I feel scared to death. What an awful and devastating quake it is!
I hope I'll never experience a super quake in my lifetime. But I hear that a big quake will hit Kyoto within next 30 years. I'm living in Kyoto---the anciant capital of Japan. Nobody knows exactly when the big one hit the region, but many seismologists predict that the big one will definitely come in the future. Well..., I'd better be well-prepared for that.
In any case, I hope Kato will write another interesting article soon. So please come back to see me.